Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

There is nothing to fear, but fear itself...and your first half iron man!

So I saw that my friend did her first day of half iron man training today.  She had shared with me the 20 week training program that she and her friends had used in the past and I thought it was a little more detailed than the one I had.  So over the past couple of weeks, I had been thinking about it and counting the weeks until that training schedule would finally start.  Well, HERE IT IS!!  This is the week!  And I have to be honest with myself, I am SCARED AS HELL!!!  What the hell have I gotten myself into and why in the world would I ever think that I could do this?

I printed off the 20 page schedule and am now sitting here staring at it!  Like it's going to jump off the desk and smack me in the head or start yelling at me telling me I am an idiot for thinking I could ever complete the details on each page.  It's daunting to think about the next 4+ months of biking, running and swimming 5-6 times a week.  There are even days where there are more than just 1 workout scheduled!  How am I going to fit this in with everything else in my life?  Ok, so my life isn't all that incredibly exciting or busy, but I am a working mom!!  That and I like to sleep!  There's just no getting around the fact that I hate mornings and getting out of bed plain ol' sucks!

Ok, so the first day (tomorrow) is a 40 minute easy paced run.  That's cool!!  For me, that's about a 3.5 to 4 mile run.  Great!  I can do that!  Then, it's also a swim day!  Warm up with a 200 yard swim (8 lengths of the pool), 200 yard kick, 200 yard pull (not even sure what the heck that is), and a 200 yard swim.  Continue with a 1 x 1500 swim (60 lengths of the pool).  And of course, cool down with 4 x 50's, each slower than the last.  GREAT!!!  Not a problem!  I can do that!  WHAT????  Are you kidding me??  That is a total of 2500 yards!  On the FIRST day!!  That's more than 2 miles in the pool!

I can already hear Mike, "I love you, but you are crazy!  You can't possibly do all of this training program!  It's not possible.  OK, it's not impossible, but it is inhumane!  You're gonna die!"  All out of pure love, of course.  And he would be right!  I am crazy, it is inhumane and I am gonna die!  Yep, that's all there is to it, I am going to die!!

Alright, what is day 2 you ask?  Oh, here's an easy one!! Run for 30 minutes and then bike for 60!  Hey, that I might be able to do.  But, since I can't get outside and I don't have a trainer, I'll have to get on a bike at the gym.  Not quite the same as the real deal, but ok I'll just have to deal with that.  Wednesday we're swimming again, but this is apparently a short day.  Only 1,650 yards today!  Thursday is an easy 60 minute run.  Friday we're back in the pool and on the bike and Saturday is an OFF day!!!  Well, thank God for that!  And on Sunday, it's a 90 minute ride!

So now I'm doing some deep breathing trying to stare down the 20 page packet from hell!  Telling myself that if I really want to quit, I can!  I can quit before I even start.  No one's going to judge me for changing my mind and no one is going to think I'm a wimp for backing out gracefully.  Well, no one but myself, that is!  I can't quit now!!!  Jeez!  It's a guideline, an intimidating guideline, but a guideline.  I'm not going to do every workout.  I'm not going to succeed at every swim, bike and run.  But quitting now means that I have failed all of them and that's just not ok with me.  So, here's to Week 1!  And guess what, if I break it down, day by day and workout by workout, all I really have to do is put one foot in front of the other!  Hmmm...have I been here before?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Inspiration for the Long Haul!

I have been listening to this song since the album came out this past fall.  Mike put the album, Incredible Machine, on my ipod and I played it over and over on those long runs.  It made me think so many times and wonder who it is that Jennifer and Kristian were trying to communicate this message to.  After awhile, it no longer mattered, because they had spoken directly to me!

I have been a HUGE Sugarland fan since the first time I heard Jennifer's pipes belt across the radio waves.  Her quirky accent intrigued me and the messages they brought through their music always made me stop and think.  I was able to experience them at Country USA the weekend I got sick with SJS.  Kind of hard to think about now, but only days later I would be fighting for my life instead of jamming at a concert!  They played on that opening night and I was sure life couldn't get much better!  I think I sang so much and so loud that I was hoarse the next day, but I didn't care.

Mike told me that my friend, Carrie, who was with us that weekend bought their latest cd and gave it to Mike for me.  During the months that I was unconscious, Mike played that cd over and over again for me.  And when I finally was out of the fog of the medications and  awake again, I asked the nurses to play it for me to help calm my intense anxiety attacks.  It may sound weird, but Sugarland has done more for me than just make great music.

And now, they have done it again.  They're asking me to stand up for what I am passionate about.  To use my voice to educate others on what I already know so that maybe we can prevent this from happening to someone else.  To all of my Survivor friends, this is our anthem!  We don't always have great days and nearly all of us have limitations from this illness, but you and I know we can still Stand Up!  We can all use our voices!  Maybe, just maybe that is why God spared us.  Maybe that is why we endure what we do every day, because that is what we are supposed to do!

Won't you stand with me?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ok, so what's on the schedule?!

I decided today to take a look at my race calendar for the year.  There are so many awesome events and I keep hearing about more and more of them, getting me excited to sign up for as many as I can.  However, I am not one of the elite runners who can make a living at this, so I have to limit myself so I don't go broke!  With the way the cost of these races have continued to increase over the years, it would be easy to do. 

So as of right now, here is my schedule of events!
May 7, 2011 Sole Burner 5k - Appleton, WI
June 4, 2011 Dam to Dam 20k - Des Moines, IA
June 18, 2011 High Cliff Half Iron Man - Sherwood, WI
August 6, 2011 Otto Grunski 10k - Menasha, WI
August 7, 2011 Oshkosh Triathlon - Winneconne, WI
September 18, 2011 Fox Cities Half Marathon - Menasha, WI

Like I said, that's my list as of today!  I'm sure it'll change as the year goes along.  I'm just hoping to train safely and go another year uninjured!!  So far, training is moving along.  I'm rebuilding, and so my "long runs" have been at 4 miles.  This week, I am supposed to put in 5 miles as my long run.  It has been difficult to get all of my training days in between work and the weather, but I'm hanging in there.

I have had a few exciting things happen over the past few weeks.  Several high school friends have shared with me that they are getting into running and exercise!  I am so happy for them and some of us are planning to do the Sole Burner together.  I've also had some other friends share with me their weight loss goals and the progress they have been making.  It is so wonderful to see the people I care about put themselves back on their own list of important people!  It's exciting to watch and to be able to be a support to them if ever they need it.  And today, I sent out the official invitation to all of my friends for the Fox Cities Team SJS!  Can't believe it's that time again!

So that's all for now.  Focusing on another year of events and raising awareness with every step!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolution and a new year of goals!

So this is the week that triathlon training begins for me.  I have my professional plan all mapped out for the next 12 weeks and then another plan for the last 12! If perfectly executed, it will take me right up to race day on June 18th.  My training journal is all put together and I'm set with new running shoes, insoles, swimming suit and goggles!  It will be months before I can take my training outside, but for now I'll do the work I need to do in the gym.

It's amazing to me how anxious I'm feeling already!  It isn't like this is the only triathlon I've ever trained for or done!  Of course, it's the longest and definitely will be the hardest, but hell I've got nearly 6 months to get ready for this day!  Maybe it's just the loneliest event I will ever have trained for.  It's not easy doing something like this when people think you're crazy and have very  little understanding of why it is I would choose to do something of this caliber.  My mom even made comment tonight that she "doesn't want to see me start this again."  Kind of made me chuckle when she said that!  She knows it means the world to me, but watching someone  you love work so hard and push themselves to the brink can get a little tiring after awhile.  I get it, Mom!  Sorry!!  But I hope you'll be there that day!

I've got some other events on the calendar this year other than the triathlon.  I plan to nail that half marathon once again along with the rest of Team SJS.  We're trying to get as many Survivors as possible here for that weekend so we can all meet in person and share in the healing of each other.  My big brother, my husband and I are thinking of running the Dam to Dam 20k in Des Moines, IA in May and of course, I have my standard 5 and 10k's.  I run the American Cancer Society Soleburner 5k in memory of my best friend, Heather, as often as I can.  This year, my 10 year old is running it with me!  What an amazing day that will be!

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year and that you choose to set goals for yourself in whatever area of your life you find the most important.  Surround yourself with positive people and truly know that you are worth it, no matter what "it" is!  Let's dream big this year and do things we never believed we could!  I just bet that if we hang in there, get serious about it, put one foot in front of the other with a little focus and determination, we just might blow our own minds!